Exercise can benefit not only the muscles and heart but also the brain.
In the journal “Trends in neurosciences is” published the results of a new study conducted by researchers of the University of Arizona (University of Arizona), USA. The researchers found that the link between physical activity and the brain is a product of human evolution, in particular its existence as hunter-gatherer.
Anthropologist David Raichlen (David Raichlen) and psychologist gene Alexander (Gene Alexander) — the authors of a new study propose to explain the positive effect of exercise on the brain using the following model. According to them, when a man went to the way of life of hunter-gatherer (about 2 million years ago), he began to perform tasks that were both physically and mentally challenging. So, physical activity and the brain were connected. The researchers suggest that the human psyche has evolved to meet the increasing levels of physical activity.
Exercise has a positive influence on the structure and functioning of the brain. Understanding the basics of this connection may help scientists in the future to develop a more effective scheme of physical exercises and rational intervention in age-related cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative diseases, for example, in Alzheimer’s disease.
It is noteworthy that the brain regions that are most hard working in difficult physical activity (e.g. foraging), play a key role in memory processes and are responsible for management activities (e.g. involved in problem solving and planning). It is these areas of the brain benefit at the time of exercise, say the authors of a new study.
The aging process can be considered as a part of the natural response to a decrease in physical activity, said the scientists. A sedentary lifestyle may lead to negative consequences for the mental faculties.
In the future, the researchers plan to examine how different levels of physical activity and different types of exercise affect the brain. For example, the study of new environment can be particularly useful in this aspect, the authors of a new study.
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